The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 108 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Portuguese, Spanish, French
Starring: Beyonce Knowles, Idris Elba, Ali Larter, Bruce McGill, Jerry O'Connell, Christine Lahti
Directed by: Steve Shill
Music by: Jim Dooley
Written by: David Loughery
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 4, 2009
"All's fair when love is war"
A successful business executive with a beautiful wife, who was once a temp in his office, finds his idyllic life threatened by a new temp who reveals herself as a stalker, forcing Sharon to fight to save her marriage and her life.
When successful financial advisor Derek Charles (Idris Elba) settles into a new Los Angeles neighborhood with his loving wife Sharon (Beyonce Knowles) and young son Kyle, everything seems perfect. But when a beautiful temp, Lisa (Ali Larter), joins the firm, Derek's life takes a strange turn. After a misunderstood encounter at the company holiday party, Lisa begins to spiral out of control - putting Derek's career in jeopardy and Sharon's marriage and life on the line.
Fatal attraction is the film by which other genre films that follow similar plotlines are measured. I saw Obsessed theatrically and quite honestly didn't have high hopes. I like Idris Elba and Ali Larter and figured I would give it a try. Unfortunately the numerous contrivances, rehashed premise, and unremarkable characters left it feeling bereft of originality, lacking in depth, and at times just plain dumb. There is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a beautiful, intelligent, and conniving woman (Larter) marking a wealthy, handsome and prominent company man for quarry. Problems arise when her pursuit becomes flawless in its execution and her every move works with exacting precision. This lends an incredulous overtone that made the story too much of a stretch to connect to. This of course was topped off by the female showdown that takes place in the finale. I like Beyonce as a musical performer but I don't always find her to be convincing as an actress. Her portrayal of this character left me barely lukewarm. After sitting through this film for the second time my impressions of it have not changed. It features a decent cast and plausible premise but it doesn't avoid the pitfalls that make it feel like nothing more than an attempt to imitate better films.
The rating is for some sexual material including some suggestive dialogue, some violence, and thematic elements.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Obsessed comes to Blu-ray from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2.6 mbps.
This is a solid looking high definition rendering from Sony that appears reminiscent of the film's theatrical presentation. It sports plenty of fine detail with sharp edges and crisp definition that provides three dimensional perspective during wide angle camera pans. Colors range from warm, vivid and inviting to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries that separate the look of Derek and Sharon's home from his office. The effect works quite well but it slightly overstated in my opinion. Blacks are rich and noticeably deep with a slight boost to contrast that is just enough to give the video a visually dynamic aesthetic without negatively impacting fidelity. Discernible detail in low lit scenes (such as though that take place at Derek/Sharon's home) wasn't definitive which tended to diminished depth. I didn't find this to be that objectionable since the story's elements didn't heavily rely on it. I also noticed some innate softening however I didn't find it to be egregious or overtly distracting. I didn't see any obvious signs of video related artifacts as the video had a pristine and pleasing filmic quality.
The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack handled the film's predominantly dialogue driven elements with aplomb. Voices had strong inflectional character with excellent room penetration and tonal description. The mix of R&B rhythms and orchestrated music spread throughout the sound field, primarily through the front three channels with ambient rear channel extension that enhanced envelopment. Low level detail contained within the recording was discerning which allowed even the lowest spoken passages or discretely delivered background ambience to be distinct. The soundstage was one dimensional and front oriented but certainly appropriate for the source material. The rear channels supplied mild ambience along with a few discretely placed sound effects (such as off camera creaks and circling sounds) that broadened depth. This isn't an active sound mix but its use of the entire system to enhance presence as dictated by the story works well.
- (HD) Playing together nicely: Making of featurette - 15 minutes
- (HD) Girl fight - 11 minute featurette
- (HD) Obsessed: Dressed to kill - 9 minute featurette
- (HD) 8 BD Previews
- BD-Live enabled
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc - A standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC/Mac to a portable media playback device
Obsessed is a below average offering that pales in comparison to the best film's in its genre. It showed promise but couldn't overcome its inordinately contrived story, one dimensional characters and lackluster direction. Fortunately for those who enjoyed the film its presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Sony is as strong one that features excellent video and good audio quality. The bonus supplements include a decent making of feature, BD-Live access, and a digital copy so you can take it on the go. If you're curious give it a rent otherwise wait for it to come to cable TV.
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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
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